This month is Better Hearing and Speech Month and an opportunity to celebrate our speech and language pathologists(SLPs) and speech and language pathology assistants(SLPAs).

Our speech and language staff are part of special education and intervention teams in buildings working with students through evaluation and the provision of specialized services.  Their goal is to improve how well a child is learning and performing in the classroom, focusing on a child’s ability to understand and use language.   Our SLPs and SLPAs are trained to work with many types of learning differences including language disorders, social communication challenges, nonverbal and verbal learning disabilities as well as many other language based learning challenges.   We have a fantastic group of specialists in our district and I hope that you will take a moment this month to thank the speech and language pathologist and speech and language pathology assistant working in your school!

 

Sarah Belleau, Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

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33rd Annual Mary Hull Award Recipients Announced!

Dear Poudre School District Community,

The Annual Mary Hull Awards banquet has been a wonderful event highlighting our impressive Poudre School District staff who go above and beyond to support students with disabilities.

Although we are sad that we will not be able to celebrate these dedicated professionals in person, it does not diminish the outstanding work that they do each and every day to support all students!   Congratulations to the nominees and recipients below!  Thank you for all you do!

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 33rd Annual Mary Hull Awards!

Collaborative Award Recipient
Kelsey Sutliff – Olander School for Project-Based Learning (top left in photo)
Nominees:
Landus Boucher – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Heidi Hanson – Shepardson STEM Elementary School
Casey Peitz – Bacon Elementary School
Jenna Riep – Wellington Middle School
Kyla Walker – Lincoln IB World School
Sandra Weeks – Rocky Mountain High School

Honorary Award Recipient
Dylan (DJ) James – Fort Collins High School (top right in photo)
Nominees:
Cindy Ellenwood – Werner Elementary School
Lora Massey – Johnson Elementary School
Michelle Oliberos – Irish Elementary School
Colleen Rohlfs – Irish Elementary School

Specialized Service Professional Award Recipient
Nancy Miller – South Elementary, Middle and High Schools (bottom left in photo)
Nominees:
Donna Boudreau – Speech & Language Dept and Bennett Elementary, an IB World School
Karli Graves – Linton Elementary and Blevins Middle Schools
Patrick Reeves – Laurel Elementary School and Harris Bilingual Immersion School

Special Education Teacher Award Recipient
Sarah Daniel – Traut Core Knowledge School (bottom right in photo)
Nominees:
Jessica Conolly – Kruse Elementary School
Evan Daldegan – Tavelli Elementary School
Kelli Hill – Bethke Elementary School
Mike Himlie – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Cynthia McCarthy – Rice Elementary School
Molly Mross – Wellington Middle School
Marie Romel – Poudre High School
Meghan Rose – Bacon Elementary School
Jamie Westyn – Fossil Ridge High School

 

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Sarah Belleau
Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

National Occupational Therapy Month – a note from PSD Integrated Services Director, Sarah Belleau

During the month of April, we are pleased to celebrate Occupational Therapy professionals!  Occupational Therapy helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational Therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

School based Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants are key contributors within the education team. They support a student’s ability to participate in desired daily school activities or “occupations.” They help children to fulfill their role as students by supporting their academic achievement and promoting positive behaviors necessary for learning. School occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), behavior management, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational participation, transportation, and more!

Thank you Occupational Therapists in Poudre School District for all you do to support our students!

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Sarah Belleau, Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

Autism Awareness Month – A note from PSD IS Director, Sarah Belleau

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, April 2nd, was Autism Awareness Day and this is Autism Awareness month.  Poudre School District’s Integrated Services staff provide top quality services to students with autism year round, resulting in impressive outcomes.  This is recognized not just locally but state wide and nationally.  Great work Integrated Services team!  Thank you for supporting all students, and this month, we recognize your work on behalf of students with autism.

Below are some of the statistics regarding autism identification.

  • 1 in 34 boys identified with autism
  • 1 in 144 girls identified with autism
  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
  • Most children were are being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan.
Autism 2
Sarah Belleau, Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District
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This week is National School Social Work Week! 

This week is National School Social Work Week!   We are proud of the work that our many School Social Workers do each day to support students with mental health needs throughout the district.  The national theme is “Beacon of Hope:  School Social Workers – Lighting the Way” and we absolutely agree with this theme!  Our School Social Workers are certainly lighting the way for students and families while emphasizing all aspects of a child’s development, collaborating with other professionals, linking students and families with needed services, and advocating for families and students.

School Social Workers… thank you for your tireless effort to ensure that our students’ emotional, social and educational needs are met.

Please take a moment this week to thank and celebrate your School Social Worker!

Sincerely,
Sarah

Sarah Belleau
Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

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Save the Date! 33rd Annual PSD Integrated Services Mary Hull Awards – Thursday, April 23, 2020. We have announced our nominees!

Save the date to attend a dinner presentation in recognition of PSD Integrated Services staff and others who support our program.  Congratulations to the following nominees:

Collaborative Award
Landus Boucher – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Heidi Hanson – Shepardson STEM Elementary School
Casey Peitz – Bacon Elementary School
Jenna Riep – Wellington Middle School
Kelsey Sutliff – Olander School for Project-Based Learning
Kyla Walker – Lincoln IB World School
Sandra Weeks – Rocky Mountain High School

Honorary Award
Cindy Ellenwood – Werner Elementary School
Dylan James – Fort Collins High School
Lora (Lori) Massey – Johnson Elementary School
Michelle Oliberos – Irish Elementary School
Colleen Rohlfs – Irish Elementary School

Specialized Service Professional Award
Donna Boudreau – Lead Speech/Language Clinician and Bennett Elementary, an IB World School
Karli Graves – Linton Elementary and Blevins Middle Schools
Nancy Miller – South Elementary, Middle and High Schools
Patrick Reeves – Laurel Elementary School and Harris Bilingual Immersion School

Special Education Teacher Award
Jessica Connolly – Kruse Elementary School
Evan Daldegan – Tavelli Elementary School
Sarah Daniel – Traut Core Knowledge School
Kelli Hill – Bethke Elementary School
Mike Himlie – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Cynthia McCarthy – Rice Elementary School
Molly Mross – Wellington Middle School
Marie Romel – Poudre High School
Meghan Rose – Bacon Elementary School
Jamie Westyn – Fossil Ridge High School

Monday’s Transition Series Event, “College Planning”, was a great success, with over 50 attendees receiving essential information as they prepare for the next stage in their students’ lives!

On Monday, February 10, more than 50 parents/guardians and students were in attendance to learn more about navigating the transition from high school to college for learners with special needs.

Thanks to our presenters:

  • Front Range Community College – Disability Resource Center
  • Colorado State University – Center for Community Partnership
  • University of Northern Colorado – G.O.A.L. Program
  • College Invest – Colorado ABLE

Look for the next Transition Series Event on Monday, March 9th from 6-8 PM at Boltz Middle School – for parents/guardians and their students aged 14-21. Resources from all over Larimer County and Colorado will be on hand to support families looking forward to the transition to adulthood.

 

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Poudre School District
Integrated Services
Sarah Belleau, Director

Congratulations to our staff who were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of the amazing work they do on behalf of students with disabilities in PSD!

The following staff members were recognized at the Integrated Services Quarterly Meeting on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Brooklynn Clason; Integrated Services Early Childhood Teacher, Traut Core Knowledge Elementary
(Nominated by Sarah Daniel, Integrated Services Early Childhood Teacher and Julie Daniel, Integrated Services Early Childhood/ELD Teacher)

“Brooklynn joined the team at Traut as a first year teacher this August. During that time, she has worked tirelessly for students with disabilities. She is constantly planning, implementing and adjusting to meet the needs of her diverse student population. She has become a trusted resource to parents as they bring their students to school for the first time. Additionally, she works with her team of providers in a collaborative way with a student centered mindset. Brooklynn has blown us away with her passion and drive as a first year teacher and we are proud to have her as part of our team.”

Emily Marquess; Integrated Services Early Childhood Teacher, Lopez Elementary
(Nominated by Julie Daniel, Integrated Services Early Childhood/ELD Teacher; Stephanie Thomas, Occupational Therapist; Krista Lavigne, Speech Language Specialist; Cheryl Rayner, Integrated Services Early Childhood Paraprofessional)

“Emily has blown us all away with her abilities as a first year teacher. She would fool anyone into thinking that she is a veteran special education teacher. Emily is truly one of the most loving and caring teachers we have ever had the privilege of working with.  She is attuned to each of her students’ needs whether they are receiving special education services or not. Emily’s ability to connect to all students has been something we all really admire.  Each day when the students arrive, they each receive special attention from Emily.  Each student is greeted with a big smile, a welcoming hug and they are assured that they will be well taken care of at school.   On top of learning a new curriculum and all of the intricacies of a new job, she has gone above and beyond for her students with disabilities. Emily has been phenomenal in her ability to write IEPs and collaborate with her team. She cares deeply for all of her students, has an innate ability to problem solve and make learning happen for all of the students in her classroom and is always willing to be the one to put in the extra work to implement strategies and new ideas.

“While carrying her workload Emily always has a huge smile and a positive attitude, even in the most frustrating situations. In addition to serving her students social emotional needs, Emily has put in the time and the work to make her classroom be the best it can be for all learners. A few examples include; setting up visual supports within her routines to support language development, providing differentiation with tasks and activities, and providing numerous opportunities for hands on learning.  We believe she has bright future here and we are proud to have her as one of our team members.”

Shey Reinhart; Integrated Services Paraprofessional, Riffenburgh Elementary
(Nominated by Riffenburgh Integrated Services Team: Kelly Sharp, School Psychologist; Devon Bjubrey, Occupational Therapist; Amy Stokes, Integrated Services Teacher; Sara Buchanan, Integrated Services Teacher)

Shey joined the Riffenburgh team last year as a paraprofessional who immediately jumped in and has made a lasting impact on our students. She provides consistency and love to our students each day. She takes initiative on instructional strategies and is always willing to learn and apply new teaching techniques. Shey works with a few of our most impacted students. Her instruction has taken students from learning letters and sounds at the beginning of the year to reading sentences. Our principal walked in during Shey’s instruction time a few weeks ago and her jaw dropped at the progress one of our first grade students has made with reading! Additionally, last year Shey had been instrumental in providing behavioral and academic support to a student who, previously, was not able to remain in class for instruction more than 10 minutes at a time. This student is now in class for the majority of instruction and accessing his education for the first time. We are so fortunate to have her on our team!

“Shey always comes to work with a positive attitude. She has an easy going personality, and her laugh is contagious. This is much welcomed after a stressful day or during a tough situation. She has a great relationship with the students she works with. They love her so much that they will even bring her donuts – in the bottom of their backpacks, not in a bag of any kind. She has been extraordinary this year in working with a student with significant needs, adapting her instruction to meet his needs. We are very lucky to have her!

“You can see how impactful Shey is on every student she works with by the way they react to her presence- hugs, smiles, presents! Our students absolutely love working with Shey. If she is absent for a day, they are constantly asking “Where is Mrs. Reinhart?” and wanting to make her cards telling her how much they miss her.  She demonstrates incredible patience with our students who need multiple repetitions of skills every day. Some of our more impacted  students have demonstrated so much growth and progress this school year, thanks to Shey’s hard work. We are so fortunate to have Shey as a part of our team.”

Megan Sexton; Integrated Services Teacher, Blevins Middle School
(Nominated by: Erica Rezendes, Social Worker Lead, and others listed below)

“Megan has been a great asset to our team.  She has a calm, patient demeanor and a great skill set for working with students who have emotional disabilities.  She goes out of her way to make kids feel like they belong, to creative a positive working environment, and to communicate with parents on a regular basis.  Her students have been making great progress on their IEP goals.  I am so happy to have Megan on my team!” -Erica Rezendes, Social Worker Lead

“In the two years I’ve worked with Megan she shows up daily for her students as well as her para-staff. Megan makes sure every voice is heard and valued in and out of the classroom. She is a leader in our community, leading Unified Soft-ball in the summer. Megan comes in daily with new ideas that support all of our students. I believe Megan should be recognized for this award for her commitment to special education and her ability to lead by example, everyday.” – Brian Farkas, Integrated Services Teacher

“Megan is the center-based SED teacher at Blevins and she is well deserving of this award. She goes above and beyond in every aspect of her job. Megan is a trusted and consistent adult in students’ lives. She is always even keeled, she never raises her voice, and she enforces consistent expectations. Megan has built strong connections with students and their families. This allows her to hold students to high expectations and push them beyond their comfort level, while also meeting their individual needs. Megan is a master-multi-tasker and she often has multiple subjects being taught in her classroom seamlessly. She builds relationships and connections with staff and collaborates with them for the success of the students. Even though she has no time to do so, Megan writes compliant and well written IEPs. She is the glue that holds together and runs a well-oiled center-based SED team of 11 students and families, 3 full time and 2 part time paraprofessionals, a school social worker, and a school psychologist.” – Jenni Thomason, School Psychologist

“Though I have only known her a few months, Megan has been wonderful to work with and deserves recognition! She has a great sense of humor, is calm and flexible and stands her ground when she needs to. She’s a hard worker that takes on difficult tasks daily with grace and strength. She’s easy going and approachable and truly cares about the care and quality of education that her students are given. She is creative in her teaching and a great team leader and player. I appreciate her and am very glad to be in her classroom this year!”  – Nicoletta Maes, Integrated Services Paraprofessional

Katie Wetzbarger; Integrated Services Teacher, Kruse Elementary
(Nominated by: Kruse Integrated Services Team)

Katie is the teacher you want on your team!  She is caring, kind, patient, trustworthy, a team player, has a great sense of humor and fun to work with!  Katie has so much love for her students.  She continuously goes above and beyond each day to meet their needs.  Cutting fingernails, braiding hair, providing snacks, buying Christmas presents- she does it all!  Katie is a talented teacher and especially great at working with some of our more challenging students and families.  She is a master in providing academic, emotional, and behavioral supports for her students.  Katie works collaboratively with Kruse teachers, staff and families.  She runs efficient, parent friendly IEP meetings.  Katie is a problem-solver, continually modifying and adjusting curriculum and instruction to best meet her students’ needs.  She is a hard worker, organized and has great communication skills.

We are so fortunate to have Katie on our team!”

Thank you all for your service and dedication to EACH and EVERY student in PSD!

 

 

Integrated Services Logo_3color
Poudre School District
Integrated Services
Sarah Belleau, Director

Great Happenings with Project Search!

“Project Search is a business led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through career exploration and training at Columbine Health Systems.” ~PSD Website

Students at Project Search have participated in several recent activities, including a field trip to Edora Pool and Ice Center for some time on the ice rink, a Health and Wellness fundraiser that allowed everyone to improve their cycling skills while earning money for their program, and a Torchy’s Tacos Spirit Day fundraiser that added to the tally while replenishing needed calories after the spin session.

Here is a note of thanks from Project Search Coordinator, Emily Ring, and the Project Search Class of 2019-20, followed by some fun event photos.

Thank you cyclebar fundraiser (002)

 

 

Integrated Services Logo_3color
Poudre School District
Integrated Services
Sarah Belleau, Director